Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Empty Headed.

I literally cannot think of one single thing to write about today. Maybe I have used up all my ideas for the month of March and now here I am typing with no direction to head in.

When I went woke up this morning, I thought I would write about India, but I can't seem to start writing about it without an overwhelming longing to go back taking over. I know I've gone a little mental because I've started applying for competitions to win a vacation. I miss the freedom of being away, and just doing different things all the time. I had this idea that I was going to do a new activity every week, meaning 52 activities a year, and then blog about them, and I am still looking into it, but it's so expensive. I am aware that money does not buy happiness but it certainly can buy freedom to be happier.

I also thought I may blog about Lost, I know I am going to blog about it sooner or later, that show is just getting crazier by the second. But there are too many open ends right now to even delve in! I do occasionally play the lost numbers in the lotto, although the message from the show is that the money will be cursed. I guess I'm of the opinion cursed money is better than no money. Plus how cursed can a bottle of Canadian club really be?

So I will leave it at that, your humble empty headed blogger apologizes for the lack of content. But honestly I am feeling more sorry for myself than you, what if yesterday was the last day any idea's entered my head? Maybe I will end up like the BFG, collecting dreams in bottles to fill other peoples heads, eating snozzcumbers and drinking frobscottle.

I sincerely hope not.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Easter Bunny

Easter is upon us. Well nearly, and I felt it was important to talk about the Easter bunny before all the mayhem and chocolate ensues and makes me forget what I wanted to say.

In polite language....who the flip is the Easter Bunny.

Seriously, I only just about understand the connection between Jesus and bunny rabbits, and even if we were to take it at its most literal and suggest rabbits are a symbol of fertility,  which mental person decided they would also be bringers of eggs, made of chocolate?

I get it, it's like the whole Santa at Christmas, someone made it up to sell more chocolate. What worries me is why people bought into it. To demonstrate I am going to make a confession, and it's embarrassing but true. Until I was about twelve I thought bunnies laid eggs. Now don't get me wrong, I realize that, that makes me a little dim, but the connection between bunnies and eggs was so strong. Every bloody Easter there would be pictures of bunnies surrounded by golden eggs, hiding them around the garden, or delivering them in little weaved baskets. Look at willy wonker, admittedly they were smart and made geese lay golden eggs, but still the reinforcement of my false belief was there.

Once I learned the truth I was a little pissed off. It wasn't the fact I'd been lied to, the tooth fairy revelation had taken care of that, it was the fact that having an Easter bunny bring eggs at Easter followed no logic at all. Why not have a unicorn bring Jelly beans, or a gryffindor bring a mars bar. It wasn't bible based, so the possibilities were endless.

I much preferred Easter when there was an emphasis on chicks. Tiny, little, yellow, fluff balls that made the world seem a damn sight cuter. In fact I remember at primary school there would be an Easter hat competition, and my mum and I would stick tiny chicks all over a hat and tie a yellow ribbon around the middle. We would then parade around the playground while our hats were judged by the teachers. Do you know what? This might actually have been my sister who we made the hat for, either way it was hilarious amounts of fun. PLUS, and this is a big one...chicks lay eggs. They come from eggs and they lay eggs, no confusion there, why get a rabbit involved.

On a more calm note happy Easter to those of you celebrating, and Happy Passover to my Jewish friends! I hope this holiday is fun for everyone, and no-one has crazy dreams about massive rabbits destorying the city and pulling planes out of the skies...I sure know I won't.

And finally a big hello to my friend Karla, who told me a story about being at school and sneezing snot all over her face, because of this I will love her always x


Monday, March 29, 2010

Light vs Dark

Firstly, my deepest sympathy goes out to friends and family of the 38 + people who were killed this morning in Moscow. It just goes to show how important it is to promote love instead of hate, because there is no reason these innocent people should have died for a cause they had nothing to do with.

Suicide bombing is a phenomenon I will never fully understand. How is it possible that people seek a better future, by taking away someone else's? There is no light without dark, but today we are reminded how important it is to fight for light whenever possible.

It is difficult to start this blog on such a sad note and turn it into something that won't propagate the Monday morning blues. But I'm going to give it a shot.

As you know, I love the little adverts that pop up next to my posts mostly because they are in someway related to what I have written. Because of my squirrel post, one of the adverts last week read 'Keep Squirrells Off' and stated it had  'Effective products [to] keep out pesky squirrels'. I personally haven't had enough trouble with squirrels to buy effective products, but I wonder if there is someone somewhere being besieged by rodents, thinking finally a product designed for my specific needs.

Another advert that popped up was one that said 'you have lost the game'. I've seen these all over the internet, and they irritate me because I know what they are talking about. I think everyone is 'playing the game' now, and I think everyone probably remembers the first time they heard about it too. I've started to think of the times before I entered the game as a golden age, where I wasn't worried about winning or loosing anything, certainly not trapped inside a game that will never end.

My first foray into 'the game' was in Devon, England while visiting a couple of family friends, and to be fair there is nothing but cows and grass to distract from ones humdrum existence there, so I can imagine the game was an interesting way to wile away ones life. But I live in the city, and I realize now that there is no way to escape from the game, until I die...the ultimate game over.

Ok so deep down I'm not actually worried about being trapped in the game, but it does make me think about certain pieces of information that you can never un-know once you know them. Charity is a good example of that. When you learn about people who are living in dire situations, who need your help to survive, you can put it out of you mind but it never gets unlearned. They say ignorance is bliss, and I can see why. Nevertheless, social consciousness is an important part of moving forward and creating a better future, a perfect example being Obama's recent health care reform bill being passed 219 to 212 in the US. It just goes to show that when people want change they make it happen, maybe ignorance isn't bliss, maybe taking action is.

So to sum up this rather patchwork style blog entry, the world can be a scary place. But as long as there are more people in it doing good than bad, progress will happen. Oh and of course stay away from birds they are like evil squirrels with wings. Hey maybe I should invest in some effective products to keep out pesky winged squirells, it could come in handy if they decide to attack.

Peace and Love
Meryl x

Friday, March 26, 2010

Office Pranks

So whoever anonymously commented on my last post asking if I had stories about office pranks, either knows me very well or is my new best friend. Firstly thank you for commenting, I still get excited when I see that someone has read my blog.

Office pranks are amazing, they are what coming to work is all about, and are what makes shows like NBC's The Office, and Parks and Recreation so very funny. There always has to be a target though, someone who is rude enough for the boss not to get angry at you for pranking, but also likely to retaliate so you know they will take it competitively enough not to have a break down. In our office his name is Matt. He is reasonably new to the office, and walked around referring to everyone as his staff, so we knew at an early point he was a potential target for endless abuse. When he started putting his garbage on my desk, it was confirmed that all future pranks would be directed towards him, well until he cried at any rate.

To give you some background Matt, is super OCD, swears like a sailor and always wears a matching shirt and tie. He has Red, and Yellow, and Pink and Green, I could finish the rainbow song and there would still be matching tie and shirt colors I hadn't mentioned. He also made the irrevocable mistake of wearing a bow tie one morning, which resulting in us sticking pictures of sailor moon's tuxedo mask all over his computer monitor.

We have pranked him so much, that now no matter who is up to no good, he comes and gets angry with me, but I will share with you some of the things we have done and you can decide if perhaps I deserve it.

Prank 1: Hiding all his stuff and leaving him a map on how to find it.

I can't take full credit for this one, as I was helped...a lot. But seeing Matt running around the office looking for his highlighters with a handmade treasure map, led to huge amounts of giggling from everyone not just me. It probably didn't help that we covered every inch of his office in post-it notes while he was in court on the same day. He was visible agitated for the rest of the week. Oh how we laughed

Prank 2: Sticking his personal items to paper.

Now that doesn't sound funny on its own, and I only helped with this one, the master mind behind this, is truly an evil genius, and if she was in the office more I think Matt would have freaked out much earlier. Not only did she glue his stapler to some paper, she glued it on an angle. This wouldn't bother me, but seeing as Matt spends half his day lining up his stationary, this one got to him on a more psychological level.

Prank 3: The Telephones

So as I think I have mentioned before, I leave many a prank message for Matt to return. Like asking him to call Mr Behr at the Toronto Zoo, but aside from that I also leave him notes suggesting he call certain numbers that screw with his phone. For example I told him he needed to call 2001, which caused every phone in the office to flash up with his extension. It was endlessly funny. Each time someone else called him to ask what he wanted he would get angrier, and he ended up swearing at least 50 times before the day was complete. Embarrassingly this one makes me laugh even as I'm typing it.  

Prank 4: Highlighters

In this prank I had a tiny 4 year old as my side kick, and luckily he seemed to take a dislike to Matt like the rest of us. I used him to deliver messages to Matt, and then when Matt retaliated by splashing him with water, I knew it was on. Really who starts a fight with a four year old? Anyway we attacked Matt in his office, throwing highlighters at him as hard as we could. Unfortunately Matt was quick and got the door closed, but we were resilient and employed more help. Dianna coaxed Matt out his office suggesting we had gone back to my desk, little did he know me and my protege sat giggling just out of sight ready to attack. I did for a second wonder if my sense of humor might be a little juvenile, I was crouching with a four year old outside someones office. But I realized that even if it was, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Matt was surprised to say the least, and I like to think of it as one of my more victorious pranks.

These are the major ones, but I do make sure to fill time by misinforming him as to who is in the office, refusing to get him coffee and making fun of everything he wears. He happily continues to retaliate. Unbeknownst to him though, I am fed new ideas on how to prank him daily by my colleges. In fact if you have any pranks you would like me to perform on your behalf please feel free to leave them in the comments at the end of this blog.

Happy Friday to all of you, I hope you have a fantastic weekend ahead of you. If not, why not prank someone before you leave, it is the perfect anti-dote to the afternoon blues.

peace and love meryl x

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I got a request

I got a request for a topic on my blog, which means someone is reading my blog right? Or it is an elaborate practical joke, and someone has hidden tiny web cams in my screen to see me get all happy about it while they point and laugh. Either way, the request came all the way from Russia, which I know because my clever computer told me that the request was sent from Russia, you can see how I put two and two together there.

Firstly to whoever sent it, thank you for your nice compliments, and for reading my blog and secondly you are obviously as mental as I am as you have requested I talk about squirrels. Now I have sat for the last few hours thinking all about squirrels, written notes on paper and scrumpled them up. Thrown said crumpled up papers over my shoulder and then crumpled plain paper to create a pile in the garbage can like you see happen in the movies when they want to show lots of time has gone by.

And luckily it has worked. See squirrels are actually quite an easy topic to talk about because in Canada they say the word squirrel really weird. It sounds more like sqwirl, as if they have squished the two syllables close enough together to make just one. The squirrels in canada are also black, which is different from England where they are Grey and red. I looked up 'squirrel colors in Russia', which is going to mess with my google stats, but it seems that they are black in Russia also.

Ironically I get to tie this post in with the one I wrote yesterday because when I was little my Grandma would take me and my sister to the park to feed the squirrels none other than Conkers. I am assuming these are the conkers that were rejected during try outs for the conker championships, but they made perfect squirrel food and watching the tiny creatures crack them open with their teeth brought hours of fun. See that's kids for you, watching a squirrel is top of the range fun, you don't need 3D films when life is already in 3D. 

As it happens I have a great story about squirrels told to me by my very own roommate. When he was little, his grandma taught him how to knit, and like most young children he knit a little 15 by 15 type square, that was probably a little lopsided. Anyway, unlike most little kids, he took his newly knitted piece of material over to the park, found a cold looking squirrel and gave it to him. What he must have imagined happened next is what makes me laugh, he must have envisioned a tiny squirrel family, waiting for the daddy squirrel to come home, maybe sitting around a tiny wooden table. Then when the daddy squirrel walks in, he's all like 'i've got a surprise for you guys' but all nonchelant and whatnot. And the tiny squirell babies run outside and see this amazing new blanket, and then when they go to bed, the mummy squirell tucks them all in, and reads them a bedtime story.

So he insists this is not the reality he was imagining, but I'm totally not convinced, I see it in his eyes when he talks about it, he feels he has done the squirrel community a solid. He imagines himself a hero in squirrel town. It is, either way, a sweet thing to do.

So there we have it, a squirrel related article. Any more requests are of course welcome, although whether I have a story for every topic is something that will have to be seen. But hey if you are too shy to write, why not work your way up by leaving a comment at the end of the post.....if not for me, for my squirrel loving roommate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So being the very lucky lady that I am, my blog is read by people in England, and in Canada. And by people I mostly mean my mum and my Aunt, but they are for all intensive purposes people, so boo ya.

What I didn't realize was that bringing up conkers in the middle of an office meeting in Canada would result in awkward silence and nervous giggling. I thought it was a great analogy, two sides arguing so much that they end up wearing each other down..."like a pair of conkers" is what I think I said. So here I am, like Michael Moore explaining health care to the Americans, to explain to you exactly what conkers are.

Wikipedia tell us

Conkers or conker is a game traditionally played mostly by children in Britain, Ireland and some former British colonies using the seeds of horse-chestnut trees. The game is played between two people, each with a conker. They take turns hitting each other's conker using their own. One player lets the conker dangle on the full length of the string while the other player swings their conker and hits.

But that doesn't include exactly how fun playing conkers is. People in England take the game very seriously, firstly you have to pick your conker, which is the best bit. Going out and finding the strongest, shiniest and biggest conker you can takes most of the autumn (or fall - translation-ally)  But once you have it, you feel ready to compete in the new term at school. Next you have to make a hole in the conker to put a lace through. People think this is unimportant, but a clean hole means when someone else is whacking away at your conker it's less likely to split, so if you are going to compete I would suggest you think wisely about your hole making implement.

Once you tie your lace to stop the conker falling off, you are good to go. The rest of the rules are pretty vague, and differ regionally. Some people say that if you break the other persons conker you get to absorb the amount of wins that conker has achieved. To clarify if you've been walking around school killing other peoples conkers then once you get beaten, your opponent wins a point for beating you and then gets all the points you've accumulated beforehand. I like this way of playing because it seems to make people more cautious about who they challenge to a duel.

Long story short, Conkers are amazing. If you want to go pro, you can keep your conker for the whole year in a dry cupboard, or soak it in vinegar so it is extra hard. My mum was always super supportive of conkers, and let me collect them in plastic bags when I was little, so if I ever win some sort of conker award, she will definitely be in my thank you speech. I would suggest you give conkers a go, you won't be sorry.

Incidentally I can't seem to stop breaking chocolate stories. I logged on the BBC this morning to have a look at the news, and there under panorama was a story about chocolate trading in Africa. It relates to a new doccumentary called the 'the bitter truth' which exposes the use of child slaves in the cocoa industry. I will include the link at the end of the post. Either the BBC news team are avid readers of my blog and then went back in time to make a documentary on chocolate to be released the day after I blogged about fair trade chocolate, or it is a coincidence... I think we both know the answer to that question. Hi BBC news team

love and cuddles


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh Dear

I wonder if you are now unsurprised by my ability not to write anything in my blog for a while. It's a natural talent. I thought it was best to tell you the truth, so here is what happened.

At the age of fourteen I realized I had an amazing power, It happened randomly at first, I would look at a lock and all of a sudden it would slip itself open and fall to the floor. Coincidence, that's what I thought it was a case of, luck if I was really going to push the boundaries. Of course I went crazy, opening doors left right and center I couldn't stop myself. Soon there wasn't a door in Toronto I hadn't had a crack at. I was loosing control, I set my sights higher, I was going to open the front door of the bank, slide myself through the panel of lasers and I, Meryl was going to open the vault without lifting a finger.
If I had factored in the heat sensitive floor paneling, my plan would have gone off without a hitch, I would have been a legend, they would have talked of me for years. The fuzz were kind really, and instead of taking me to jail they took me to Rehab. Lock Rehab is a cool place, I met some cool people there too. Learn't a lot about myself, really pushed the boundaries you know.

So there you have it, the reason for my absence. I'm all better now, haven't touched a lock in over a month. I'm taking it one day at a time. I do plan to post my notes from Delhi either tomorrow or Thursday. And if i can stay away from hardware stores, you shouldn't have to deal with any absences any more. How can you stay mad at someone in recovery? Just look at Britney, if she deserves a second chance surely I do as well.

I also have Chocolate News: Yippee

It's not as high profile as the whole cadbury's-Kraft takeover and it's actually a little sad but I thought it was definitely something that should be shared. As Easter approaches, chocolate sales are about to sky rocket, and it is important to remember that large companies involved in cocoa bean trading in Africa are a huge problem amounting to increases in child labor and illegal trading. So this Easter why not buy some fair trade chocolate Easter gifts. Equita make amazing chocolate and it is sold all through Canada and Green and Blacks do the same thing, but all over the world. They make sure that the cocoa farmers are given a fair price for their produce, and work closely with green initiatives to reduce harm to the environment. It is a little more expensive, but think of all the good karma you are getting free with your chocolate, it's a bloody bargain really.

OK here are the links if you want to have a look....there are tonnes of pictures of chocolate on the sites, and if I have to give up staring at locks for the foreseeable future, Its good to have pictures of chocolates to help with the withdrawal

peace and love

Meryl x